Regal Cinema

233 High Street,
Uxbridge, UB8 1LD

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

ABC Regal Cinema

The Regal Cinema was built for A.E. Abrahams who already operated the large Regal Cinema at Marble Arch in London’s West End and the Regal Cinema’s at West Norwood and Edmonton (all now demolished).

The Regal Cinema, Uxbridge opened on 26th December 1931 screening the film “Reaching For the Moon” starring Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and Bebe Daniels.

Seating was provided on a stadium style with the balcony being a raised area at the rear, rather than overhanging the rear stalls. The architect E. Norman Bailey designed a splendid example of 1930’s Art Deco style. The facade has touches of Egyptian motifs in the decorative ceramic tiles that cover the building. Inside the auditorium the decoration is made up of deep wavy plaster troughs which hold the concealed lighting in the ceiling and a unique proscenium opening shaped like a Chinese half-moon. Intricate decorative panels in a Chinese streamline-deco style cover the organ grilles each side of the proscenium.

The Regal Cinema was fitted out with a Compton 2Manuals/6Ranks theatre organ, a cafe and a ballroom.

It was taken over by Union Cinemas from December 1935, and they were taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in October 1937 and they continued to operate it through the rest of its cinematic life.

The Regal Cinema closed on 4th November 1977 screening Julie Christie in “Demon Seed” and Ron Leibeman in “The Super Cops”. The building was then given an immediate ‘spot listing’ and was Listed Grade II.

It stood empty for seven years until May 1984 when it was converted into Regal’s Nightclub which opened on 5th July 1984. Being a Listed building (raised in November 2000 to Grade II* status) and due to a covenant imposed when it was built, all features were retained in the building, including the Compton organ. Sadly though, the stage area was bricked in and seperated from the auditorium and was converted into a gymnasium/health club. The connecting wires to the organ chambers were severed, so the organ is no longer able to be played and the console sits in the nightclub area, surrounded by empty beer bottles and crates.

In 1993 it became the Discotheque Royale, the interior was painted black/dark colours and because of the lighting gantry’s installed for the disco/nightclub it was difficult to see the original decoration as originally intended. But it was all still there…….and it remains one of the most important cinema buildings to survive in the London area and the U.K.

In April 2007 a 3million GB pound renovation was completed and it re-opened under new a name Liquid Envy Nightclub. The Compton organ console is now protected inside a glass box and is on display.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 23, 2007 at 12:25 pm

A vintage photograph of the exterior of the Regal Cinema in early 1932, soon after opening:
View link
A March 1952 view, note the ABC ‘triangle’ sign:
View link
The auditorium in 1970:
View link
The closed Regal Cinema in May 1983:
View link
A closer view:
View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 6, 2010 at 2:26 pm

A set of vintage photographs of the former Regal Cinema:
View link
February 2010 photographs of the auditorium as a nightclub:

Malc1945 on March 8, 2012 at 9:45 am

We had Ross projectors here with RCA sound system.

garypainter on December 8, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Recently picked up series 1 of 70s UK police series The Professionals. A large portion of one episode, Look After Annie, was shot in the Regal Uxbridge at the end of November 1977, seemingly just a few weeks after it closed as a cinema. There are numerous interior shots of both the auditorium and dressing rooms, which is the setting of a political speech in the episode, as well as some exteriors to the rear of the building. Worth picking up the newly restored Blu-ray of this series just to see this splendid cinema before it was altered inside!

yachtpilot on July 10, 2015 at 5:16 am

Malc1945.. your comment regarding the projection equipment is misguided.. The projectors were Westar with a Westrex sound system and Peerless arc-lamps.. at least they were during the 50s and 60s. A Zenon system may have replaced the Peerless arc-lamps after my time there.

curmudgeon on July 10, 2015 at 10:13 am

What a wonderful proscenium. And looks as though it could have accommodated a ‘Scope screen without alteration. Any other unusual proscenium designs?

Mike_Blakemore on July 10, 2015 at 11:39 am

@ curmudgeon How about the Avion Aldridge designed by Roland Satchwell He conceived the Odeon Look with Cecil Clavering

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater